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A Discourse Analysis of Pilgrimage Reviews

van Laer, T. & Izberk-Bilgin, E. (2018). A Discourse Analysis of Pilgrimage Reviews. Journal of Marketing Management, 35(5-6), pp. 586-604. doi: 10.1080/0267257x.2018.1550434


This paper is the first to provide an account of the discursive features of online consumer reviews of pilgrimage sites. Drawing from pilgrimage studies and narrativity theory in consumer research, we explore how consumers communicate the spiritual and material aspects of pilgrimage experiences by examining a corpus of 833 consumer reviews on TripAdvisor of the most sacred pilgrimage sites of the world’s major five faith groups. Pilgrims include analytical discursive features to communicate the material aspect of their consumption experience. They reserve narration for spiritual transformation and the experience of strong emotions. Moreover, review ratings are only reflective of the spiritual aspect of their consumption experience. As such, our research complements previous studies by highlighting the material, physical aspect of this extraordinary consumption experience.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article accepted published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Marketing Management on 27 Oct 2018, available online:
Publisher Keywords: armchair pilgrimage; discourse analysis; marketization of religion; spiritual consumption; storytelling; online word of mouth
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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